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A la Carte by Tanita S. Davis
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A la Carte

by Tanita S. Davis

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Lainey is a seventeen-year-old chef determined to be the first African American vegetarian female celebrity chef. She works in her mother's restaurant and invents new recipes constantly. It's hard for me to remember the compelling plot -- a young adult drama of friendship, romance, and trust -- because my takeaway from this book is all the amazing food porn. Every chapter ends with a recipe, and I want to try most of them.

The fat politics are kinda-kinda. On the one hand, the characters all worry too much about Lainey's weight. On the other hand, their answer is making sure the decadent recipes use healthier ingredients, without sacrificing any of their food porn goodness. And she doesn't have any magical weight loss I can recall.

I loved this book. A stock YA relationship plot is livened up so wonderfully by the unusual conceit. We have too few books about black girls that aren't about race or poverty. And did I mention the food? ( )
  jadelennox | Mar 16, 2010 |
The book started off seeming like an overly-descriptive food-themed soap opera. As the central conflict became clearer, however, the characters became more interesting, complex, and sympathetic. I ended up reflecting on my own life and choices as I read about Laine's. ( )
  cnesbitt | Sep 30, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375848150, Hardcover)

SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLD LAINEY DREAMS of becoming a world famous chef one day and maybe even having her own cooking show. (Do you know how many African American female chefs there aren’t? And how many vegetarian chefs have their own shows? The field is wide open for stardom!) But when her best friend—and secret crush—suddenly leaves town, Lainey finds herself alone in the kitchen. With a little help from Saint Julia (Child, of course), Lainey finds solace in her cooking as she comes to terms with the past and begins a new recipe for the future.
Peppered with recipes from Lainey’s notebooks, this delicious debut novel finishes the same way one feels finishing a good meal—satiated, content, and hopeful.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:27:28 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Lainey, a high school senior and aspiring celebrity chef, is forced to question her priorities after her best friend (and secret crush) runs away from home.

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